Germination Times for the Patience-Impaired

no germination happening here, just empty peat pots waiting for seeding mix and seeds

Is it soup yet? Is it soup yet? is it…

To keep my 7-year-old Inner Child from checking on freshly seeded pots every 10 minutes – (“Is it soup yet?” “Is it soup yet?” “Is it… ” you get the picture) – here’s a list of some common vegetable germination times.

  • 2-10 days:
    • potatoes (domestic white)
  • 7-14 days:
    • beans, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, collards, corn, lettuce, onions, peas, potatoes (red), radishes, spinach, turnips
  • 7-21 days:
    • cucumbers, squash
  • 7-30 days:
    • tomatoes
  • 7-60 days:
    • peppers (varies widely)
  • 14-45 days:
    • gourds, bitter melons
None shows germination times under an hour. Checking if they’ve germinated each time the clock chimes is a waste of time.

Germination varies by growing zone and general climate, but a good rule of thumb is:

  1. Follow packet instructions
  2. Find instructions online if the seed packet doesn’t have them
  3. Germination happens when the seed’s ideal conditions are met
  4. Keep plants with the same germination needs in the same area
  5. For ideal germination results, give seeds consistent light, heat and moisture
  6. Invest in a germination mat or light (or both)